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netflix hiscore series
this is a great series on netflix any retro gaming fan should check it out

anyone else remember the Tamiya radio controlled cars in the early 80's?

williams electronics video and pinball history

Thought I would write a brief history of the company Williams in the USA and there involvement in video games as recall it.

William's previously known for their great pinball machines saw how popular the video games were becoming in the early 80's thanks to hits like Space Invaders then Pacman. Sensing this is where the big money was they jumped on the band wagon releasing video games one of which was their biggest hit Defender.  In the mid to late 80's the arcade video game bubble burst and money dried up, the industry was in decline no thanks to the home consoles like Atari.
 Williams decided to leave the video games and went back to pinball's launching some of the most popular and complex tables ever seen from 1986-1995.  In the late 90's though once again pinball popularity was dieing out so in desperation they had to radically come up with a new idea to revolutionise the industry.  They got together some of the best pinball and video game engineers and came up with the idea of  combining a video games with pinballs.
 In October 1999  they made Pinball 2000 a real pinball with video game images reflected on the playfield glass. Hat's off to them this was a great concept in theory and technical break through but sadly it didn't light up the world and success was short lived partly due to reliability issues.
I think most people back then you were either a pinball fan or a video game fan not both.  The arcade culture had changed, people weren't going out and putting money in arcades anymore, the home console industry was booming.   

Williams then decided to forget about pushing boundaries with pinballs and moved to manufacturing fruit machines which was a massive disappointment for all there fans.

Ralph is back

Wreck It Ralph

Went to see the new Disney movie Wreck It Ralph on the weekend and I must admit despite it being aimed at kids I absolutely loved it!
It's very well written with so many references to retro arcade classic games the Fix It Felix Jr game depicted in the movie is based on Donkey Kong, I noticed this straight away when I saw the Donkey Kong style cabinet
Ralph is obviously based on Donkey Kong and  Felix Jr is loosely based on the early Mario

Without spoiling it for you and giving away too many details you have to keep a close eye out for background characters from classic games lurking around and for you real geeks out there you will see the reference to the infamous pacman level 256 kill screen bug at the end of the credits supposedly making out Ralph was the cause of it!  (brilliant and well researched).

For any retro gaming fan I would strongly recommend this movie, Rich Moore the main writer is already talking about a sequel this time including Mario and possible Tron. With Tron already being based on life inside a game and being owned by Disney  it shouldn't be too hard to marry to the worlds together after all they were jumping from world to world in this movie anyway.
Very clever film and it perfectly fuses the old and modern gaming world together flawlessly.

Would like to see a few more retro characters in the sequel maybe bubble bobble or even Rachet and Clank!

Wreck It Ralph Arcade Machine


original midway space invaders
Midway Cabinet
original taito space invaders
Taito Cabinet (better quality graphics)

This is a photo of the Midway cabinet version of Space Invaders that we had at home  in 1984,bought from a pub that had closed down, it took the old large 10p coins. Note it does not use a joystick, you used to move back and fore with buttons. Taito's cabinet used a joystick for the ship controls.
 The monitor was black and white with a green transparent strip along the bottom for the bases and an orange transparent strip for the mystery ship.
As I recall the Midway cabinet was made from painted chipboard that used to give off a distinct smell inside when the electronics were warm. Inside was a dedicated game board (not Jamma)
Our cabinet sadly died in 1986 and was regrettably scrapped :(

The game was so popular in Japan that it caused a coin shortage until the country's Yen supply was quadrupled. Entire arcades were opened in Japan specifically for this game.

on the 5th level of spaces invaders the second mystery ship will deflect your bullet and you will hear the rare deflection sound

Space Invaders, along with Pac-Man and Pong, shares the notorious distinction of being one of the most duplicated, arcade games.

Upright Arcade Machine in Reception

Our reception area


Toru Iwatani creator of Pacman
Toru Iwatani creator of Pacman

Pacman is probably the most famous retro game along side Taito's Space Invaders
It first came out in 1980 two years after space invaders, in fact
it was created by Toru Iwatani who got the idea for his character from looking down at a pizza which he had taken one wedge out of. The game was originally call PUCKMAN before changing it's name to PACMAN

Masaya Nakamura creator of namco sadly died recently 1925- 2017

puckman flyer aka pacman arcade game

They approached Atari inc to sell them the American rights to Pacman but Atari refused stating the game was far too easy and it wouldn't take off.
 Tori Iwatani received the Guinness world record in 2005 for the most coin operated arcade machines ever installed world wide 293,822 !!
pacman arcade machine

It is possible to follow a pattern on each maze that will always clear the screen without being caught by the ghosts, many coin op masters have worked out this pattern and can stay on the game for hours.

The Perfect Pacman is when you eat every dot, power pill, fruit and ghost on the first 255 levels.
Did you know the 256th level can not be completed due to a bug in the original game,
the screen splits and crashes.

It is possible to hide forever in one place on the screen but this won't gain you points. Where Pacman starts there is a T shaped wall above him. If you go up to the right most part of the T from the bottom without any ghosts spotting you go there, do not move stay still, facing up and you will not be eaten.
Try it!

Does anyone remember the Pacman scratch cards in the 80's?
I loved these but never completed one successfully!

pacman scratch card

Image borrowed from, he was lucky enough to find these cards and scan one

Do you remember the names of the ghosts?
Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde

Retro Home Computer Gaming trivia
In 1984 Jet Set Willy was released on the Spectrum then the C64, one of the hardest games I remember with no obivous goal other then to move in and out of difficult rooms and collect random items.  It was also the first game on tape to feature a colour code on the inside of the cassette tape inlay. I didn't get very far in this game despite my best efforts but you can clearly see when you look at the map some of the levels in the upper manson were inspired by the classic arcade game Hunchback.
The game was written by Matthew Smith (Software projects)

jet set willy tape cover
Jet Set Willy Cassette cover
jet set willy security code
Jet Set Willy Cassette inlay Security code
jet set will map spectrum
click the map for a larger image

a year later in 1985 came Dynamite Dan   very similar to Jet Set
this was in my opinion slightly easier and had more interesting rooms with great music.

dynamite Dan title screen

needless to say one of my favourite films of all time!!

Tron arcade machine

Tron arcade machine
 The TRON standard upright cabinet, painted, fluorescent lines and two blacklights, to recreate the "glowing circuitry" effect from the film.
 The upright cabinet actually appears in the beginning of the movie as a Light Cycles arcade game.

we still have this mini Tron game  given to me in 1982

The sequence in the film where he gets laser zapped into the computer is pretty impressive FX for 1982

in the actual film he is playing a fiction game called Space Paranoids
thanks to the new film you can now play a version of this online! its brilliant just like you remember from the movie
It will ask you to install a plugin first

Here is a photo of a fully customised Tron Joystick we added to our Ultimate Upright arcade complete with glowing triggers

track&field arcade machine
Track & Rield arcade machine Konami

Track & Field known as Hyper Olympics in Japan 1983
The sequel to this was Hyper Sports in 1984, this was a favorite of mine on the Commodore 64 but i could never get past the vault!

hyper sports arcade

Here are a few tips for playing hyper sports arcade
when running use button 1 and 3 alternatively you will run faster
if in the running you get the same time as player 2 you will get a bonus.
If you  throw the javelin right up in the air off the screen you will hit a bird and get a bonus.
In the high jump if you fail the first two jumps and clear the bar on the 3rd jump a mole will burrows up and give you a bonus.

 If you and the computer tie for the same time, a frog will appear and award you a bonus.

If you get a perfect score, a duck will fly across the screen. Shoot the duck repeatedly to get a bonus scores.

After launching, tap the RUN button to rotate. If you land on your head, an object will fall from above and award you a bonus. This will not qualify you for the event, so only do it after you have qualified.

If you get all "nices" (bulls-eyes), the target will turn into an apple. Repeatedly hit the apple for bonus points.

 If your jump starts right on the line and the jumps have degrees of 35, 41, and 45 degrees (in order), then a rocket will fly past and award a bonus. This will not happen if the jump results in a World Record.

 If you hit both run buttons simultaneously as the barbell hits the floor, cheerleaders will pop up and you will be awarded a bonus.

 If your pole hits the base plate directly (without skidding) and you make it over, a gopher will pop up and award you points. Each successive perfect successful jump will award more points. A miss will reset the bonus back to the beginning.

Bubble Bobble Arcade Flyer

Original Taito Bubble Bobble Arcade Flyer 1986
A Fantastic Game the first time I saw game where you could collect letters to make a word "EXTEND" bonuses and extra lifes
You have to guide the two hero's Bub and Bob through 100 levels of adventure to rescue their girlfriends

The EXTEND letters appear on stages where the bubble can float from the bottom of the screen.
always pop as many bubbles with monsters inside at the same time as you can WHY?
The EXTEND letters appear according to the number of monsters you kill at the same time on the stage before the current one you are on.

all bubbles on the screen turn into fruit if the hundreds and tens of your score are the same when you kill the last monster on the current stage


Secrets sourced form various places off the net

These codes must be entered on the title screen showing Bubble Bobble written inside a cloud.

BUBBLE JUMP BUBBLE JUMP BUBBLE JUMP RIGHT 1P-the screen will say original game mode and you will get the bonus doors whether you die or not.

LEFT JUMP LEFT 1P LEFT BUBBLE LEFT 1P- it will say power up at the bottom of the screen and you will have fast feet and fast bubbles

1P JUMP BUBBLE LEFT RIGHT JUMP 1P RIGHT- You play the game with the monsters from the first 50 screens in the last 50 and visa-versa.


High Score table cheats

At the end of a game enter the initials below, They mainly effect the second bonus object that appears on the first set. The best way to see these rewards is to bubble trap the first 3 monsters and wait for the second bonus to appear, get the bonus and then blow as many bubbles as you can to get the maximum points available.
KTT  beer-turns bubbles into pizzas at end of level, what a perfect match !!!
...     Knife-flying cakes/beer/etc across the screen, turn enemies into 6k diamonds
MTJ  coke can-flying cakes/beer/etc across the screen, turn enemies into 6k diamonds
SEX  pitch fork-flying cakes/beer/etc across the screen, turn enemies into 6k diamonds
TAK  octopus-turns bubbles into X's at end of level
STR  flamingo-turns bubbles into smiling turd at end of level

rainbow island arcade machine
The Rainbow Islands The Story Of Bubble Bobble 2
I used to play this on the Amiga A500
Island five is based the classic super breakout style game Arkanoid, Doh is the boss of the level.
There are also stages which are based on Bubble Bobble which happened to be one of the only arcade perfect games on the Commodore 64

hunchback Arcade Game Flyer poster

I used to love this game, completed it on my Dragon 32 home computer in 1983

dragon 32 computer

my first home computer, the Dragon 32 made in Port Talbot,South Wales released in 1982 and discontinued in 1984. i remember games were notoriously hard to find for this!! I was in a shop called Tandy every week looking for any game I could find on tape.
Favs I do remember were "The King" (donkey kong) "Attack"(Defender) "Whirliebird Run" (scramble clone)
Cuthbert goes walkabout (Amidar) cuthbert in the jungle (pitfall) Hunchback, Leggit and Bezerk(cartridge game)
my favourite game though of all time on there must of been Chuckie Egg! I got to level 22 once which was ok for an 9 year old


the king of kong dvd for sale donkey kong gaming

KING OF KONG TRAILER a fistful of quarters

KING OF CON TRAILER (interesting, was the King of Kong documentary film really fake?)

this is 1.5hrs long

Arcade Attack - Silver Ball Heroes VS Video Invaders (1982)

Joysticks 1983

tempest arcade machine
Atari Tempest Arcade Cabinet (flyer below)

You control a yellow horse shoe shaped ship that travels along the outside of a three dimensional tunnel,
shooting enemies down the lanes of the tunnel while avoiding any coming down the lanes.
The tunnel takes on many different shapes the ship is equipped with a super zapper that enables it to kill all enemies
present in the tunnel in one go.
tempest arcade machine flyer
Tempest arcade machine flyer 1981 great artwork and great original game using a spinner
gets my award for best retro arcade flyer
tempest arcade machine flyer


some scans of original arcade posters from around the world
we have some of these on my wall in the reception area!

Galaga Arcade machine Game Poster
Galaga 88 arcade poster

Berzerk Arcade machine Game Poster
Berzerk Arcade machine Game Poster

narc video game aracde machine fyler

if you like late 80's vigilante style games & films check out a retro game called NARC from Williams 1988,
stereo typical supercop trying to rid the streets of thugs and drugs!

dragon's lair aracde machine flyer

Side A of the Dragon's Lair Arcade Machine flyer 1983

Side B of the Dragon's Lair Arcade Machine flyer

Side B of the Dragon's Lair Arcade Machine flyer 1983

changes arcade flyer

pulsar arcade machine flyer

Pulsar Arcade machine flyer
(does this really make you want to play the game? compared with the below Punchout flyer
Punchout Arcade Machine flyer

Punchout Arcade Machine flyer

Guantlet Arcade machine 1985

asteriods deluxe arcade machine

Asteriods deluxe arcade machine flyer

astro blaster arcade machine

Astro Blaster arcade flyer

hi splitter arcade

pleids arcade
Pleids Arcade Machine flyer

asteriods arcade machine
Asteriods arcade machine
Centipede arcade flyer
centipede arcade machine

defender arcade machine
Defender arcade machine flyer
ghost n goblins arcade
ghost n goblins arcade
operation wolf arcade
operation wolf arcade machine

atari xevious Arcade Game Flyer poster

time pilot Arcade Game Flyer

moon cresta Arcade Game Flyer
moon cresta Arcade Game Flyer

Battlezone Arcade Game Flyer
amazing cabinet on the right, you looked threw a rubber mask at the screen

We would like to say a special thanks to all the people that have kept the retro arcade scheme a live and archived its history
 This includes
 All the contributors to
Killer List Of Videogames
 a complete list of info on old arcade games and pinballs
 all the contributors and programmers at
 This amazing software allows you to play retro arcade games on your PC

 All contributors at the
Arcade flyer archive
 archive of old retro arcade machine posters
 The guys at
pinball repair for out standing electronic repair guides


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